Friday Five (2002-12-27)

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
I developed a very strong base for my own Web content management system, TextStyleM. A year ago it was merely a few rough modules that couldn’t publish anything; today, it powers about half a dozen websites and that number is growing.

2. What was your biggest disappointment?
Developing TextStyleM is almost all I’ve been about this year, so I would have to say that my biggest disappointment is that it’s not as far ahead in development as I thought it would be by now.

3. Will you be making any New Year’s resolutions?
I have a nearly pathological fear of failure; therefore, I refuse to make resolutions because of this fear. I do, however, “set objectives” for the new year and don’t make a big deal about them.

4. Where will you be at midnight? Do you wish you could be somewhere else?
I’ll be sitting to the left of The Queen of Sheba, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

5. Aside from (possibly) staying up late, do you have any other New Year’s traditions?
In 1996, I came up with the idea of having an “Eggs & Roses” party on New Year’s Eve, and The Queen and her partner have been hosting this event every year since. After a feast prepared by the Queen’s partner, we pop open a bottle of champagne around 11:15 and each grab an egg and a marker. We spend nearly 30 minutes writing all the bad things or people we encountered in the year that’s coming to an end. We then go out to the garden and, one by one, we throw our egg against the wall of the canvass factory that borders the east side of the garden. Then we return inside and take a paper flower and write about all the good things or people we encountered in the year that’s ending as well as all our hopes, wishes, and expectations for the coming year. At the stroke of midnight, we open another bottle of champagne. By then there are many hugs, many smiles, and many tears.

This year, the event really ought to be called the “Eggs & Hyacinths” party in honour of the Queen’s eldest Prince who died suddenly on September 7th. “I think of hyacinths whenever I think of him,” the Queen has often said …both before and after he died.

{5} Thoughts on “Friday Five (2002-12-27)

  1. I really like that “eggs & roses” idea. I’ve got eggs. I’ve got paper. I’ve got sparkling wine. Now, I just need to find a canvas factory…

  2. The eggs and roses idea sounds like a blast!

    It is a blast and a wonderful intro- and retrospective. The only depressing thing about it can be thinking back to past years’ eggs or looking at past years’ roses and seeing recurring entries. However, many of my roses expressed the hope that my business would take off in the coming year and, happily, that hope seems to have become a reality in 2002, albeit a bit more modestly than I had hoped.

    The first year we did this, 1996, was truly a horrible year for everyone around me, myself included. Little wonder, therefore, that when I went to my car to come back home after that 1st annual E&R, the wind caught my paper rose and sent it somewhere clear across the Halifax Commons. A perfect symbol: Anything that had to do with 1996 simply had to go!

  3. “Eggs & Roses” went very well. We had our first post-script egg this year: Someone realized he had forgotten to write a very bad thing of 2002 on his egg, so we gave him an extra one and he hurried to smash it against the wall before midnight. For her part, The Queen of Sheba had clearly prepared mentally for the event, which closed the hardest year of her life. The grace and aplomb with which she handled the ceremony was extremely moving. Hyacinths were certainly on my mind and on my rose but, more importantly, I think The Queen has come a step closer to saying “Bah!” to her Prince, all the while honouring his memory …now and forever.

    If anyone ever considers this end-of-year ritual, remember that while the egg is the most dramatic (and fun) part, the rose is a component that is as important if not more so since it provides balance. Without the rose, the ritual would only be negative; with the rose, the ritual becomes an opportunity to count blessings and look forward to things to come. Such a ceremony can be particularly life-affirming, especially for those who, for whatever reason, do not find solace within mainstream religions. But even those who do are likely to see some worth in this pagan-like ritual.

    BTW, normally people don’t tell what’s written on their egg or their rose. But I can tell you that although there were some glaringly obvious entries on my egg, I found it difficult to cover its entire surface. Indeed, for me personally, 2002 was occasionally blah but not such a bad year overall, so for me to find it hard to cover an egg with scribbles was, in itself, very positive.

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